The Senate has overwhelmingly passed what is likely to be an early Christmas present for everyone, including renewable energy interests, with tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel extended for another year.
The vote was 81 to 19 to pass the bill, which was primarily to extend both unemployment benefits and the Bush era tax cuts. The House is expected to take up the measure as soon as today and analysts believe that it will pass largely intact, with major concerns there being with the estate tax.
Biodiesel and ethanol trade groups were quick to praise the Senate action. “The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is pleased by the Senate’s vote to retroactively extend the biodiesel tax incentive,” said Manning Feraci, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs. “This will help ensure that the nation reaps the job creation, energy security, and environmental benefits associated with the expanded domestic production and use of biodiesel in the coming year.”
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) CEO and President Bob Dinneen said in a statement that extending the ethanol incentives will help save jobs and give the industry some stability. “Members of the RFA greatly appreciate the work of ethanol advocates, led by Sen. Charles Grassley and the Obama Administration, to ensure these important job-creating provisions were included. We strongly urge the House to take up the measure as soon as is possible and to pass it before adjourning for the year,” said Dinneen.
“This bipartisan vote shows that the Senate is committed to enacting sound tax policies that invest in green industries, like ethanol,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.